04:27
TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch

Jackson Browne: A song inspired by the ocean

Filmed:

Jackson Browne plays a song he started writing last April aboard Mission Blue Voyage, the Sylvia Earle-inspired trip to brainstorm ways to save the ocean. "If I could be anywhere," he sings, "anywhere right now, I would be here." (Filmed at TEDxGPGP.)

- Musician and activist
Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music -- and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics. Full bio

(Applause)
00:15
Thank you.
00:17
(Music)
00:19
♫ Slide into the shimmering surface ♫
00:28
♫ between two worlds. ♫
00:31
♫ Standing at the center of time ♫
00:37
♫ as it uncurls. ♫
00:40
♫ Cutting through the veil of illusion. ♫
00:45
♫ Moving beyond past conclusions. ♫
00:49
♫ Wondering if all my doubt and confusion will clear. ♫
00:53
♫ If I could be anywhere, ♫
01:00
♫ if I could be anywhere, ♫
01:04
♫ if I could be anywhere right now, ♫
01:09
♫ I would want to be here. ♫
01:12
♫ Searching for the future ♫
01:18
♫ among the things we're throwing away. ♫
01:20
♫ Trying to see the world ♫
01:26
♫ through the junk we produce everyday. ♫
01:28
♫ They say nothing lasts forever, ♫
01:35
♫ but all the plastic ever made is still here. ♫
01:38
♫ And no amount of closing our eyes ♫
01:42
♫ will make it disappear. ♫
01:45
♫ If I could be anywhere, ♫
01:50
♫ if I could be anywhere, ♫
01:54
♫ if I could be anywhere in history, ♫
01:58
♫ I would want to be here. ♫
02:01
♫ The Romans, the Spanish ♫
02:07
♫ the British, the Dutch, ♫
02:09
♫ American exceptionalism, so out of touch. ♫
02:11
♫ The folly of empire repeating its course, ♫
02:15
♫ imposing its will ♫
02:19
♫ and ruling by force ♫
02:21
♫ on and on through time. ♫
02:24
♫ But the world can't take it very much longer. ♫
02:27
♫ We're not going to make it ♫
02:31
♫ unless we're smarter and stronger. ♫
02:33
♫ The world is going to shake itself free of our greed ♫
02:35
♫ somehow. ♫
02:39
♫ If I could be anywhere, ♫
02:46
♫ if I could be anywhere in time, ♫
02:50
♫ if I could be anywhere and change things, ♫
02:55
♫ it would have to be now. ♫
02:58
♫ They say nothing last forever, ♫
03:04
♫ but all the plastic ever made is still here. ♫
03:07
♫ And no amount of closing our eyes ♫
03:12
♫ will make it disappear. ♫
03:14
♫ And the world can't take it ♫
03:19
♫ very much longer. ♫
03:22
♫ We're not going to make it ♫
03:24
♫ unless we're smarter and stronger. ♫
03:26
♫ The world's gonna shake itself free of our greed ♫
03:28
♫ somehow. ♫
03:32
♫ And the world can't take it, that you can see. ♫
03:35
♫ If the oceans don't make it, neither will we. ♫
03:39
♫ The world's gonna shake itself all the way free ♫
03:44
♫ somehow. ♫
03:48
♫ If I could be anywhere, ♫
03:51
♫ if I could be anywhere in time, ♫
03:55
♫ if I could be anywhere and change the outcome, ♫
03:59
♫ it would have to be now. ♫
04:04
(Applause)
04:09
Thank you.
04:12
(Applause)
04:14

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About the Speaker:

Jackson Browne - Musician and activist
Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music -- and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics.

Why you should listen

Since his debut album in 1972, Jackson Browne has written some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music. Inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, he's defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics. He has released 19 albums; his latest, Love Is Strange featuring David Lindley, was released last year.

Browne has combined his four-decade-long music career with a passionate commitment to social and environmental justice. He's a co-founder of the groups Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), Nukefree.org, and the Success Through the Arts Foundation, which provides education opportunities for students in South Central Los Angeles.

More profile about the speaker
Jackson Browne | Speaker | TED.com